“Dr . . . but . . . wha . . . Draco! Explain this! What do you mean ‘your wife’?” Pansy shrieked. Draco couldn’t help the evil smile that split across his face. Job well done Malfoy! Pansy had lost any composure she had held earlier. Her eyes were wide like a mad cow and if she were animated, he was sure she’d have gusts of air shooting out her nostrils like a bull ready to charge.
“Well, we did invite you – but you were in France. We were married yesterday!” he said happily. Hermione had finally clicked onto what he was getting out of this and wanted no part in any of it. He could rub this in Parkinson’s face all on his own. She pulled her arm loose of Draco’s and regarded the both of them quickly.
“If you don’t mind, I would like to be excused!” she said simply and turned and started for the stairs.
“No! You come back here you filthy cow and explain what the hell is going on!” Pansy screamed at Hermione’s turned back. She halted right where she was. How dare she? Draco was looking between the two women excitedly. He hadn’t had this much fun since back in his school days where he used to poke fun at the Weasel. He turned to Pansy with a smile still in place.
“Hold that thought!” he asked eagerly and she looked ready to bite his head off. He quickly dashed over to Hermione and placed a hand in the small of her back. It was a very personal thing to do, but he wanted to keep up appearances for Pansy. “Hermione,” he whispered to her, “please help me with this! I want so bad to get her off my case! I’m sure this could be fun for the both of us!”
“I don’t want be apart of your little schemes!” she argued in a whisper.
“Come on! I know you hate her as much as I do! If you just play along – I promise that I’ll make it worth your while!” he whispered back. She glared at him. How on earth could he make it worth her while?
“I’m still waiting over here!” yelled Pansy impatiently.
“One moment!” yelled Draco back, but keeping his eyes on Hermione. “Please Hermione” he said, using her name to soften her up a bit more. She considered him carefully.
“What could you make ‘worth my while’?” she asked interestedly. He moved his hand up her back a little more.
“Think ‘books’!” he said in a seductive tone. Only that word could get Hermione’s attention. Now she really was intrigued. She really did want to get back at Pansy for all those horrible names she had called her in school, but lowering herself to Draco’s standards wasn’t quite the way she wanted to do it. But still . . . books!
“Alright, I’ll do it.” she agreed. She imagined that if Draco had of been alone in the room he would have possibly jumped up and down with how happy he was right now, but that would put his pride at stake if anyone saw him! Without saying another word, he linked his arm back through hers and placed a hand gently on her hand. It was a very intimate position to be found in and Hermione couldn’t help but blush slightly. Get over it you idiot – he’s your husband. He’s touched you just a little more than this! The thoughts of last night came back to her suddenly, but she pushed them away, refusing to think about them. She had done enough crying last night.
“Sorry about that Pansy!” Draco stated apologetically. The awful thing was that he actually sounded sorry, although Hermione knew he wasn’t. His skills were far too advanced to say anything good about him. Hermione put on a cheery smile and held out her hand to shake for Pansy.
“I’m so sorry about my terrible manners. It’s lovely to see you again Pansy!” she said cheerily. She knew that she was nowhere near as good as Draco at lying, but she actually thought she was doing ok at the moment. Pansy on the other hand didn’t.
“Draco! What the bloody hell is she doing here?!” she screeched, ignoring Hermione’s outstretched hand. Hermione placed her hand back down by her side and feigned a look of deep hurt as she placed both hands on Draco’s and looked at him expectantly. Geez, she was good at being a bitch when she wanted to be!
“Pansy, I thought I already explained. She’s my wife. We were married yesterday! Isn’t it wonderful?!”
“You can’t actually be saying that you wanted to be married to the Mudbl-“
“I won’t hear such atrocities about my wife, thankyou.” Draco said sternly. Hermione actually felt quite . . . grateful. Even though it was for Draco’s little game, he had defended her. No one but Harry and Ron had ever defended her! Pansy looked stunned for words. Never, in all her life, had she been disallowed to call the Mudblood what she was. And to hear Draco defending her, broke her heart in two. Her life had turned upside down within the space of three months on a stupid trip to Paris! Pansy felt her bottom lip begin to quiver as the tears started to well in her eyes.
“I . . . I don’t know you anymore! You’ve changed!” she cried at Draco, completely ignoring Hermione’s presence there. “I come back and you’re married? To Granger of all people!”
“Technically, I’m a Malfoy now!” Hermione interrupted. Pansy looked between the two of them. Hermione’s nervous smile and Draco’s soppy looks for his wife. It was all too much for Pansy. The tears spilled over and down her cheeks and she began to wail. She bolted for the stairs, trying desperately to run in the heels that were much too high, crying all the way up to her father in Lucius’s office.
When he was sure that she was gone, Draco finally cracked up laughing. He bent forward holding his stomach as he laughed himself stupid at the silly girl. Hermione just scowled at him and pulled her arm free of his.
“You’re despicable!” she growled at him and started for the sunroom. His laughter ceased as she trotted towards the door. She had just ruined his fun! Wasn’t she meant to be happy too? She had just gotten that wench back for all the times she had teased her at school! What wasn’t there to be happy about?
“Oi! Gra – argh! Hermione!” he yelled angrily after her. She didn’t turn around but kept walking. He raced after her and grabbed her arm to stop her before she reached the door. She spun around and ripped her arm from his grasp. “What’s your problem?” he snarled
“You!” she spat. “Getting pleasure from tormenting others. Travis, Pansy! You’re pathetic! When are you going to grow up and start appreciating what you’ve got and the people around you?” she argued heatedly. Draco was stung by her words. This wasn’t just another of her arguments. She really meant this. He could see that she felt everything she said. He didn’t say a word as she kept on ranting. “You’ve got so much going for you, but you still insist on making everyone’s life a misery! When you finally realise how hard it is to actually live life – then maybe you’ll grow up a little! But for the time being, I’m married to a child!” she yelled and then without another word, stormed into the sunroom and slammed the door behind her.
Draco stood still. He had just been put in his place! How dare she?! He wasn’t a child – far from it! He’d been on missions – he’d killed for goodness sakes! How could she call him a child? If anyone was a child, it was her! She’d lived a boring and sheltered life – what did she know of the responsibilities of being an adult? How dare she?! Draco was about to go on after her to give her a piece of his mind, but as soon as that thought had popped into his mind, he felt a tugging at his sleeve. He looked down to see his house elf Misfit at his feet.
“Master Malfoy wishes to see you in his office!” said the elf obediently. Draco shook his robes free of the disgusting creature.
“Fine!” he spat. He turned on his heel and marched up to his father’s office. He’d deal with his wife later!
Hermione stormed out of the sunroom and into the garden, ignoring Narcissa’s insistent calls. She walked as far away from the manor as she could before stopping breathlessly. Losing her temper, she kicked the nearest plant and screamed at the trees. Why did he have to be such an ass? She jumped up and down angrily, screaming through her clenched teeth.
“Ah . . . is everything okay?” asked a deep voice from behind her. She stopped immediately. It was Travis. She felt the blush creep up her cheeks. How embarrassing! To be chucking a fit and to be caught by him!
“Uh . . . yeah . . . there was a . . . a bee on me!” she lied. He just smiled at her.
“Right . . .” he said with a smile. Hermione found that she couldn’t look at him – she was too embarrassed. “Well, I’ll go then . . .” he said, turning on his heel.
“No!” she panicked. He stopped and turned back to her expectantly. She hesitated for a moment before blurting it all out. “There was no bee . . .” she said plainly. “It was a wasp. A big, nasty, evil, conniving wasp by the name of Draco Malfoy!” she said in an angry fit. Travis couldn’t help himself as he cracked up laughing. Why was it that everyone around her was laughing at everyone else’s misfortune? What was wrong with people around here?
“I’m sorry!” he laughed as he desperately tried to restrain himself. Hermione rolled her eyes annoyed and started to walk off.
“Ergh! Whatever!” she scowled. He was quick to stop her.
“No, no! I’m sorry! I promise I won’t laugh!” he said pleadingly as he halted her by grabbing her arm. She watched him carefully as he quickly removed his hand from her. “Obviously things are not well in paradise?” he stated smugly. Hermione just growled.
“Ergh! Paradise! As if! Whatever gave you that idea?” she asked stupidly. He tapped his chin and tilted his head in mock deep thought. He was mocking her! The audacity!
“Oh, I don’t know. How about all the snogging you two were doing? I’m sorry, but the two of you look pretty cosy most of the time!” he said rather matter-of-factly. She threw her hands up in the air uselessly and flopped down onto the grass. Resting her tired head in her hands, she let out a god-awful groan.
“I’m just so sick of him! He’s such a pig! And we’ve only been married a day! How the hell am I going to handle the rest of my life?” she cried desperately. She felt the slight rumble of the earth as Travis sat down beside her on the grass. He said nothing, allowing her to talk. “But you know the worst thing of it Travis?” she asked nervously, her voice wavering with fear.
“What?” he asked softly. His eyes watched hers as she faced the truth of what she was about to say.
“I think I’m slowly becoming just like him!” she spoke softly, barely above a whisper. But it was the truth. She had feared it for some time now. She had changed, ever so slightly, since she had moved in here at Malfoy manor. It was only a little bit, but what if she didn’t stop changing? What would she become? Never in her life did she imagine she wouldn’t want to help the poor house elves who were enslaved here. And what about the little stunt that was pulled today? She never would have done that to Pansy, no matter how much she hated the foul woman! They were just small things, but they made the difference.
“You won’t become like him. It doesn’t matter how much you change. You have a good heart. Nothing can change that!” he said simply. She felt the smile creep onto her face as his compliment. Why couldn’t Draco be this nice to her? He took her hand in his and rubbed her fingers gently. The forwardness of his actions took Hermione by surprise, but she didn’t pull away because of the greatness of his gesture. They sat this way for some time, her hand in his. A small pop announced that they were no longer alone. Hermione peered behind them to see the elf Misfit.
“Yes?” she asked formally.
“Mr Malfoy would like to see you in his bedroom.” said the house elf with a sneer, and then he disappeared. Hermione rolled her eyes – something she seemed to be doing a lot of these days.
“Well, I’m being beckoned!” she said tartly. Travis smiled at her and she felt the slight blush creep up her face. He pulled her hand up to his face and left a tender kiss that was only meant for a lady.
“Until next time, my lady!” he said in a very dashing tone, releasing her hand as she got up from her seat on the grass. Once again, she considered this a very forward thing to do, but she went along with it anyway. It was nice to be appreciated by someone else! With one last smile, she left him alone in the garden and began the short walk back to the manor.
Inside, she followed the familiar route to Draco’s bedroom and opened the door. Only after she had opened it did she think to knock, but really – she was his wife! Inside, Draco was marching across the room, back and forth, furiously taking clothing from his dresser and shoving into a small backpack on his bed.
“What’s going on?” she asked curiously. He didn’t stop his packing to answer her question.
“I’m required on a mission. I won’t be back for a couple of weeks!” he stated defensively as if he expected her to kick up a fuss. She didn’t though. Why should she? A couple of weeks without Draco – that was pure heaven! He finished with the last of his clothing, zipped the bag closed and threw it over his shoulder. He walked to the door where she stood. “I’ll see you when I get back. You’re welcome to stay in here or your own room until ours is ready.” he said formally, and without another word, walked out of the room.
Author’s Note: Don’t despair! Draco’s absence will not leave an empty bowl of boringness – much more exciting things will happen while he is away, and soon enough, Hermione will be eagerly awaiting the day he returns! He he! You’re going to love it! I have quite a twist planned for you all! I write for your reviews – so feel free to leave me one! Oh! One more thing! I’m afraid that my updating may become a bit more erratic or delayed after this chapter because in two days time I’m moving house and I won’t have much access to the internet from there. I’ll keep writing when I can, so that when I can update – you get a few chapters at once! I’m sure I’ll get a few more chapters in between now and then though! Until next time . . .
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